City’s environmental programs in the works
The city government’s thrust to protect the environment is in full swing as the program of work for its ‘Blue Walk Project’ is being prepared by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), together with the City Planning and Development Office, City Buildings and Architecture Office and City Engineering Office.
CEPMO head Rhenan Diwas said the project aims to safeguard the city’s critical Busol watershed which is its largest source of potable fresh water as well as offering a variety of environmental, economic and social benefits.
He said the program was initiated to address long-standing issues of squatting and water shortages at the Busol watershed and degradation of the Balili river.
In the pipeline are the establishment of green mufflers/ green buffer zone projects and the landscape of islands located in various areas of the city including an emissions inventory project where data collection is ongoing.
Also in the works are on-going feasibility studies and coordination for the Baguio Resilient City Tourism Project for the Baguio Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade Project, city-wide sewer line projects and a feasibility study on the hazardous waste collection, storage and disposal in the city that is presently for review, Diwas said.
He said his office is conducting quarterly free emission testing for vehicles as well as the monitoring and issuance of notices of violation for illegal waste disposal to those who directly discharge their wastewater in the city’s waterways. Other projects include IEC for environmental issues such as the Baguio Environment Code, Hazardous Waste Management, Anti-Plastic Ordinance and integration of safety and health in parks development and urban forest management projects. – Gaby B. Keith